Our daily bread in 2050

-A A +A

The king of grains is feeding much of the world

By Kirsten Peters

These are the good times.
I was driving through the country last Saturday, looking at deer happily chowing down in wheat fields.
Everyplace is a drive-through if you’re a herbivore at this time of year.
It’s a simple historical fact that wheat farming has been central to American agriculture since the country was young.
And today wheat grown in the U.S. supplies American consumers and millions of other people around the world with large quantities of economical nutrition.
Even a geologist like myself knows that much about the king of grains.
But I was recently startled to learn that the temperatures experienced by American wheat farms back in 1839 were 6.6 degrees warmer than they are today.
That’s right, our wheat farmers are now working in temperatures substantially colder than they were earlier in the nation’s history.
At first I thought I had misread the statistic. After all, we know that temperatures in our country from about 1850 onward have been on the uptick as North America has emerged from a cooler time.
And, surely, if climate scientists are right, temperatures in just the past couple of decades are clearly up from what they used to be.
So how could modern American wheat farmers be facing much colder climes than they were in 1839?

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday